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School Design Strand [clear filter]
Friday, December 2


25 Years of Digital Portfolios: The Enduring Essential Questions of Assessment
How can students demonstrate that they are meeting standards while showing who they are as individuals? In 1992, the Exhibitions Project at CES led the first-ever research project on digital portfolios. Technology has changed dramatically in the ensuing quarter-century, but the essential questions for creating digital portfolios have endured. Participants will address these essential questions including, "Assessment: How do we determine what's 'good'?" to "How do the portfolios become a valued and valuable part of school life?" We will hear about how University Heights High School (Bronx, NY) addressed these questions in the original study and see samples of current students' Richer Picture digital portfolios. In addition, participants will engage in a calibration protocol for reviewing student work, using online rubrics and narrative assessments.

avatar for David Niguidula

David Niguidula

Founder, Ideas Consulting


Hazel Joseph-Roseboro

Principal, University Heights High School

Friday December 2, 2016 8:45am - 10:15am
Kent Room


Really Engaged Students through Really Authentic Assessment
How can we increase student engagement in work that is meaningful and authentic? The goal of this workshop is to explore the concept of authentic work and assessment and for participants to bring models and ideas back to their own practice. Participants will reflect on their own classrooms, consider whether the concepts and topics that they teach are met with high student engagement. They will follow the process of transforming their current model into authentic performance tasks and assessments that will allow students of all abilities to engage meaningfully. Participants will have a chance to identify and brainstorm solutions to personal roadblocks in implementing authentic assessment in their classroom. They will also see models of authentic learning across the domains of math and science and also arts and humanities.

avatar for Caroline Beasley

Caroline Beasley

Arts and Humanities Teacher, Francis W. Parker Charter School
Authentic Instruction, Teacher Leadership, Collaboration


Matt Smith

Arts and Humanities Teacher, Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School

Tiffany Testa

Teacher - Science & Technology, Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School

Friday December 2, 2016 8:45am - 10:15am
Washington Room


Beautiful Work
 When a student finishes her schooling and enters the adult world, she will judged for the rest of her life by two things: the quality of her character and the quality of her work. In spite of this, schools—even very good schools—feel the pressures of coverage and testing and can spend very little time compelling and supporting students to do exemplary work. What would it look like if students saw their mission at school as creating beautiful work? This is a hands-on workshop in which we will discuss and examine beautiful student work across subjects and grade levels, examine the classrooms that work came from, and discuss the conditions that make that work possible. 

avatar for Ron Berger

Ron Berger

Chief Academic Officer, EL Education
Ron is the Chief Academic Officer for the non-profit school improvement network EL Education, a national network of over 160 public project-based schools in 30 states. EL helps to found public high schools in low-income communities - district and charter - that send all graduates... Read More →

Friday December 2, 2016 8:45am - 11:30am
Waterplace I


Creating Schools of the 22nd Century Today: A Radical Proposal
In the 21st century, societies that are the most heterogeneous also have the highest incarceration rates, levels of violence, and degrees of social conflict. If pluralist societies can be both economically vibrant and peaceful, it's going to be educators in countries like the United States who figure out how to make it work. This workshop may be uncomfortable, as it will invite participants to engage in thinking and conversation about issues that often divide us around culture, identity, and prejudice. Participants will leave with ideas for how to facilitate difficult conversations among staff and develop curricula for students aligned with the CES Common Principles that honor the diverse cultural makeup of our communities in pursuit of bringing out each student's full potential.

avatar for James Boutin

James Boutin

Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher, Academy of Citizenship and Empowerment
Let's talk about big and little ways of disrupting harmful culturally normative approaches to schooling, being, and knowing to make way for a type of equity in public education that would breathe life into a future worthy of the human spirit.

Friday December 2, 2016 8:45am - 11:30am
Providence Ballroom II


Providing Every Student with Varied Learning Experiences: Developing 21st Century Proficiencies
To succeed in the dynamic, 21st century world, students need more than just academics. At Compass School, we have long aimed to develop good students and good people. We do this by assuring every student is engaged in diverse learning experiences within and beyond our walls. Through thoughtful scheduling and a creative yearly calendar, our small school provides wide ranging learning opportunities that ensure every student develops proficiencies in our 5 learning realms: knowledge, personal development, communication, community involvement, and thinking and reasoning. We will share our varied experiences and invite participants to share the ways their schools go beyond "just academics" to ensure every student develops as a well-rounded person with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to make a difference in the world.

avatar for Rick Gordon

Rick Gordon

Director, Compass School
Founding director of Compass School. Committed to educating every child and especially those who may be marginalized in schools. We believe in educating the whole child by engaging students in a democratic community that builds relationships, sparks curiosity, and expands their horizons... Read More →

avatar for Kellie Crowder

Kellie Crowder

Director of Student Support Services, Compass School
I joined the Compass faculty in the Fall of 2015 as Director of Support Services. Since then, I have felt honored to be part of such an enthusiastic and caring academic community. I grew up along the Hudson River in New York State, and then attended the University of Colorado where... Read More →

Friday December 2, 2016 8:45am - 11:30am
Waterplace II


Whatever It Takes! School (Re)design for Personalized Learning From the Outside In and the Inside Out
South Australia is making inroads into relational schooling design despite systemic forces that work against this agenda. In this workshop, we offer current research revealing the common ideological threads manifesting across three progressive South Australian secondary public schools highlighted by three leaders through interview as key components of their leadership for personalised learning agenda. These thematic threads include: the courage to lead ‘against the grain’ of systemic compliance; re-structuring and re-culturing schooling to promote relational connectedness, positive learning mindsets and flipped classrooms; personalising and negotiating the curriculum around student learning passions; and continually seeking new approaches to professional learning through investing in and researching richer forms. Using hermeneutic methodology, our workshop will offer school development storylines that reveal how these experienced leaders have embraced radical pragmatic educational leadership ideologies to do whatever it takes to place students at the centre of everything they do.

avatar for Andrew Bills

Andrew Bills

Lecturer in Educational Leadership and Management, FLAME Leadership Educational Research Group- Flinders University of South Austra
My educational agenda is 'Relational Schooling'. I bring 25 years of educational involvement in socially-just school reform initiatives in South Australia as an educational leader, teacher, researcher and bureaucrat to my current work as an educational leadership academic at Flinders... Read More →

avatar for Steve Hicks

Steve Hicks

Principal, Birdwood High School
avatar for Susan Hyde

Susan Hyde

Principal, Australian Science and Maths School

Friday December 2, 2016 10:30am - 12:00pm
Washington Room


Building Blended Learning Teacher Leaders
In order to transition into blended learning, we must develop a talented pipeline of educators who understand this approach and can support district and building leaders with this shift. The Fuse RI Fellowship is currently training 60 educators to be the state's next generation of blended and personalized learning coaches, consultants, and leaders. This session will be run as a blended learning station rotation model in which participants will rotate between face to face sessions with Fuse RI Fellows who are trained to support blended and personalized learning roll-outs at the district and building level, online playlists that include asynchronous resources that leaders can use to train their own coaches, and collaborative design build activities that leverage Highlander Institute’s District Development Framework.

avatar for Shawn Rubin

Shawn Rubin

Chief Education Officer, Highlander Institute
Shawn Rubin is the Chief Education Officer at the Highlander Institute in Providence, Rhode Island. Shawn manages the Institute’s personalized and blended learning initiatives. At the Highlander Institute, Shawn leads the FUSE RI fellowship, which partners educators and administrators... Read More →

Friday December 2, 2016 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Waterplace I


Implementation not Implosion: Lessons Learned and Evolving Decisions in the Move to a Proficiency-Based Learning System
Entering its fourth year of a six-year implementation plan, South Portland School Department has learned a great deal about the delicate and intricate nature of a move to proficiency-based learning. The lesson learned range from different types of professional development needs that have emerged around formative and summative assessment to the need for standardized grading guidelines. Making theory practical requires compromise and adjustment, and that has been the case for South Portland High School has it grapples with decisions about honors and recognition policies, co-curricular eligibility policies, and the development of a proficiency-based transcript.


Rebecca Brown

Director of Curriculum, South Portland School Department


Ryan Caron

High School Principal, South Portland School Department

Friday December 2, 2016 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Newport Room
Saturday, December 3


Designing for Deeper Learning
Ready to take on the deeper learning challenge? In this hands-on session, participants will examine how the deeper learning competencies: mastering core content, critical thinking and solving problems, collaborating with others, effective communication, developing an academic mindset and learning to learn can be used to redesign teaching and learning. Using equitable teaching practices and elements from design thinking, participants will engage with others, view exemplar student work and design a project for their own context. Come ready to play, engage and learn deeply. 

avatar for Laura McBain

Laura McBain

Director of External Relations, HTH GSE
Laura is the master of ceremonies for DL2017. Email, tweet or text her with any questions or wonderings for your time at DL2017!  Laura is the Director of External Relations and the Director of Education Leadership Academy. Laura was a founding teacher of High Tech Middle and was... Read More →
avatar for Marc Chun

Marc Chun

Program Officer, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Marc Chun is not a professional playwright by any stretch of the imagination, but had his plays produced in tiny theaters in LA and NY. Of one of his plays, the New York Times wrote that he "... conducts this chamber symphony with impressive élan" (forcing him to look up the word... Read More →

Saturday December 3, 2016 9:15am - 10:45am
South County


Innovative Teacher Leaders: The Catalyst for Educational Transformation
This workshop will revisit the call for public school transformation that followed the release of A Nation at Risk in the 1980s and included Albert Shanker and Ted Sizer's radical notion that public school 'teacher leaders' should be allowed to create innovative learning spaces from which authentic, transformational practices could be exported to the larger system of public schools. We will follow the movement to create these catalytic learning environments over the last thirty years and the attempt by some to hijack that movement in order to supplant public school systems with their own charter systems. We will end by perusing the current educational landscape to identify examples of innovative learning environments designed with the intention of transforming the larger system of public schools.

avatar for Santo Nicotera

Santo Nicotera

PD Director, Retired, CITY Center for Collaborative Learning
Santo Nicotera is the other co-founder of the Paulo Freire Freedom Schools in Tucson, AZ. He stepped down as principal of PFFS-University in July 2016 to become director of professional development for CITY Center for Collaborative Learning. He taught middle and high school math and... Read More →

avatar for Carrie Brennan

Carrie Brennan

Executive Director, CITY Center for Collaborative Learning
Carrie leads CITY Center for Collaborative Learning, an education nonprofit in Tucson, Arizona dedicated to helping schools and teachers do their best work for all students. She has deep experience in the field of education, including many years as a teacher, school leader, and workshop... Read More →

Saturday December 3, 2016 9:15am - 10:45am
Newport Room


My Momma Says, 'What 'cha gonna do with your life?"- Building a College Culture @ Bronx Collaborative
This workshop is for anyone who wants to learn more about school design from scratch and how students and faculty collaboration are needed to build a college-going culture. At Bronx Collaborative, student leaders and activists have worked closely with faculty to create a culture of innovation at their school. Faculty at Bronx Collaborative deeply believe that students need to "find themselves" while being supported in developing their practices as a public intellectual. Having opened in 2013 with students who had only a few weeks notice about the school, our students and faculty have a story to tell about how they jointly challenged each other on a journey of high expectations and communal support.


Brett Schneider

Principal, Bronx Collaborative HS


Demetrius Green

Science Teacher, Bronx Collaborative HS
avatar for Valerie Coleman Palansky

Valerie Coleman Palansky

Lead Social Worker, Bronx Collaborative HS
I'm a social worker educator supervisor at BxCHS and a CES workshop presenter. I am interested in understanding how brain science can help us help students as well as ourselves to heal trauma and aid recovery on multiple levels-emotions, mind and body. When people are less frozen/less... Read More →

Saturday December 3, 2016 9:15am - 10:45am
Providence Ballroom IV


The Quest for School Re-Design: Reflections, Updates and Big Ideas
The work of the Education Resource Consortium has been based on the spirit of the CES Ten Common Principles. ERC Co-Founder Larry Myatt was an early participant in CES conversations and has updated and evolved many of those ideas and principles. This workshop will provoke and inspire "next steps" thinking. We will share an emerging strategy for innovation built on a hard-earned framework for school redesign. We will also present new and updated TREK principles and address a brief compendium of lessons learned in community engagement, management, learning science, and school leadership. Audience participants are invited to probe and press for clarity throughout, and a panel of re-design conversants will share ideas and reactions to participant's questions.

For more background, see TREK returns. A new, better chance for our schools. 


Larry Myatt

President, Education Resources Consortium


Alan Dichter

Affinity Group Leader, CUNY
Currently leading a small team in NYC in collaboration with NYCDOE and CUNY providing support to 23 secondary schools. Much of my focus is on the development of Facilitative Leadership skills throughout schools. I became with CES very early in its development and attended first... Read More →

Ken Facin

School Superintendent, Hoosick Falls Central School District
avatar for Mike Berry

Mike Berry

Principal, SAU 36

Saturday December 3, 2016 9:15am - 10:45am
Providence Ballroom I


RE:THINKING - A New Film About the Power of Learning HOW to Think Instead of WHAT to Think
RE:THINKING is a documentary film that features teaching and learning at three US public schools where students are being taught HOW to think instead of WHAT to think. One of the featured schools is Lehman Alternative Community School (LACS) in Ithaca, NY, a member of the Coalition, and the film features an interview with founding Principal Dr. Dave Lehman as well as several LACS teachers and students. RE:THINKING is intended to show audiences of educators, administrators, parents and policymakers that bringing thinking skills into the classroom doesn't require new technologies or tests; but rather an awareness that if students and teachers alike understand how they think, they will be able to think in more creative and systematic ways. This will help prepare them for their roles in an uncertain world. Producer and Director Deborah C. Hoard and Co-Director and Editor Rachel Ferro will both be present for discussion after the screening. 

avatar for Deborah Hoard

Deborah Hoard

President, PhotoSynthesis Productions


Rachel Ferro

Videographer/Editor, PhotoSynthesis Productions

Saturday December 3, 2016 9:15am - 12:00pm
Kent Room


10x10: Connecting the 10 Common Principles to the 10 Principles of Proficiency-Based Learning
If you are affiliated with a CES school or have been influenced by the Coalition's work, you have already laid the foundation for proficiency (aka competency or mastery) based learning, even if you are not using that language to describe your work. In this workshop we will create a crosswalk of the 10 Common Principles and the 10 Principles of Proficiency-Based Learning used by the Great Schools Partnership and the League of Innovative Schools. Participants will personalize the crosswalk by connecting these principles with their work in schools and communities. We will share some of our own resources and the group will create a Google doc (bit.ly/SharedResources10X10) of shared resources for continuing the conversation and community of mutual support.

avatar for Andi Weisman Summers

Andi Weisman Summers

Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership

avatar for Courtney Jacobs

Courtney Jacobs

Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership
Talk to me about school redesign, student centered learning and external learning opportunities.

Saturday December 3, 2016 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Bristol Room


Accountability and Authenticity: Roundtables and the Senior Internship Program at Community Charter School of Cambridge.
This workshop will provide participants access to the Community Charter School of Cambridge's (CCSC) program components focused on building student accountability within an authentic context. All students in 6th-11th grades present an annual roundtable, comprising key pieces of work within core disciplines, to a panel including the student's advisor, family members, and community representatives. The roundtable is evaluated, and the student must be successful to proceed to the next grade. All seniors participate in a 100-hour internship during their second semester and must also present their final project in order to graduate from CCSC. Participants will hear from former students who are now CCSC teachers and will leave with a template for both programs.


Paula Evans

Founder and Former Head of School, Community Charter School of Cambridge

avatar for Caleb Hurst-Hiller

Caleb Hurst-Hiller

Head of School, Community Charter School of Cambridge

Rachel Jean Louis

6th Grade Math Teacher, Community Charter School of Cambridge

Steven Rodenas

Community Charter School of Cambridge

Saturday December 3, 2016 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Washington Room


All Students Thrive! Using Advisories and Collaborative Planning Time to Set High Expectations with High Supports
At Paulo Freire Freedom Schools, our explicit goal is that all students will thrive, not only academically, but also socially, emotionally, and physically. In order to reach this high standard, we have developed a system that uses both advisories and collaborative planning time to ensure supports are in place that support our diverse learners. This workshop will showcase our advisory program and our version of RTI. We will share examples of support strategies that are commonly used, including providing differentiated assistance during sustained silent reading, and the use of a variety of assistive technology, in addition to some more creative interventions such as positive notes. Participants will have a chance to share their own support strategies and think through how our systems can be adapted.

avatar for JoAnn Groh

JoAnn Groh

Principal, Paulo Freire Freedom School
JoAnn Groh is the co-founder of the two Paulo Freire Freedom Schools, PFFS-Downtown and PFFS-University (demonstration/lab schools) in Tucson, AZ and has served as a PFFS principal for the last 13 years. Prior to PFFS, JoAnn was a Social Studies and Language Arts teacher at Catalina... Read More →


Saturday December 3, 2016 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Newport Room


Experiencing the Essential School Culture - Voices of Graduating Seniors
This workshop explores how students perceive and experience an intentional school culture based on the CES Common Principles. Preliminary research findings of a qualitative study will be presented, along with implications for practice. This workshop is for those interested in how students describe and experience a positive school culture based on CES Common Principles. Insights from student perceptions provide practical suggestions for developing and implementing an essential school culture.


Heather Rheaume

Social Worker/Clinical Supervisor, Blackstone Academy Charter School


Carolyn Sheehan

Blackstone Academy

Saturday December 3, 2016 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Kent Room


Reflect, Collaborate, and Celebrate: Building on the Success of the Graduation Portfolio Roundtable
Compass School's portfolio roundtable process has long had a powerful impact. Students are led to profound self awareness, teachers have found a source of unparalleled gratification, and community members better understand the aims of personalized learning. But how can a school build on these successes and raise the bar for all students--even in the non-portfolio years? Teachers and administrators are invited to learn about our "portfolio week", a structure that can create an exciting pulse of reflecting, collaborating, and celebrating in school. You will learn more about the power of portfolio roundtables, try out prompts for end-of-year reflections, gain ideas for incorporating peer-peer collaboration in the portfolio process, and brainstorm how to adapt any of these ideas to your classroom or school.

avatar for Julia Taylor

Julia Taylor

Humanities Teacher, Compass School
I've been teaching writing, literature, US history, film, and other random tidbits for twenty years. You can talk to me about integrating visual arts with literature and history, using public exhibitions to engage students in differentiated projects such as film-making and living... Read More →


Alexandra Zuser

Math Department Head, Compass School

Saturday December 3, 2016 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Waterplace III